China rescue team starts work

Updated: 2015-04-27 05:11

By Zhao Yanrong in Kathmandu and Zhang Yunbi in Beijing(China Daily)

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China rescue team starts work

Family members break down during the cremation of earthquake victims in Bhaktapur, near Kathmandu, on Sunday. NIRANJAN SHRESTHA/ AP

President, premier and foreign minister extend deep condolences to victims of weekend disaster

The first rescue team sent by China arrived in Nepal on Sunday at the scene of the devastating earthquake that has killed more than 2,000 people.

The team flew in as the central government in Beijing mobilized support and with more rescuers on their way to the Himalayan nation.

The magnitude-8.1 quake struck the landlocked country on Saturday afternoon and also jolted part of China's Tibet autonomous region.

Nepal national police spokesman Kamal Singh Bam said that to date 2,152 deaths have been reported and about 5,000 injuries.

In Tibet, the quake left at least 18 people dead and had affected more than 200,000 by Sunday, Xinhua reported.

Shortly after the disaster struck, President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered their deep condolences to victims. Xi also expressed his confidence that the government in Nepal will tackle the disaster and said China is willing to provide all necessary assistance.

On Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement, "The Chinese government extends sincere sympathy to the countries concerned and stands ready to provide assistance."

A 62-strong China International Search and Rescue Team left for Nepal early on Sunday morning and later arrived in Kathmandu, the capital.

Shankar Koirala, Nepal's joint secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, described the team's arrival as "timely assistance". Later on Sunday, the team spent about four hours in the northwest of Kathmandu and rescued its first survivor, a 20-year-old man.

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